20 Hours Ago
Pretty safe bet it'll happen before the AR. At this pace I think most things will happen before the AR, possibly including kicking the bucket. :tap: LOL
I recently had a guest that had some trouble handling multiple long rods with spinning gear from the kayaks I fish from, so I decided to try to simplify for folks like him. Since downlining doesn't require casting, and because you don't have to fuss with a bail, I figured letting line out and winding it back up with baitcasting gear is as goof-proof as it gets. :-)
I could do a long dissertation on this---I mean longer than this post, now that I see the end result of my casual hunting-and pecking here---and maybe I will if people are interested, but here are the basics: a fiberglass rod with a circle hook will "auto-set" in the rodholder with none of the snappiness and lost fish that more sensitive graphite usually offers, and also none of the gut-hooking. Fiberglass is also less likely to snap when trolling.
The rod lengths get the bait away from the fish-spooking boat and your silhouette. Staggering the lengths helps keeps lines untangled, especially during multiple hook-ups.
You can easily find the baitcasting gear for bigger fish such as catfish and stripers, obviously, but even crappie gear is mostly made in graphite these days, and what fiberglass is out there is either too long for me or made for spinning gear, or both. At least as far as I've seen. That's why I'm hoping to dig up someone with different eyes.
I have used fiberglass-graphite blends before for bigger fish (my favorites are Ugly Sticks, and I am trying out some Bass Pro Shops Brawlers this year) but I can't locate any in a crappie-suitable configuration (7-10 feet, light power, moderate action). I'd highly prefer pure fiberglass for this use, but if somebody made a blend I suppose I could be talked into experimenting. My track record on auto-hooking tricky hard-mouthed catfish with fiberglass, though, makes me reluctant to stray from what's working.
The fiberglass Cabela's Whupping Sticks (crappie model), which I have in 7.5 feet, could be made to work if they had a better reel seat or if I taped the reels on, but baitcating use in rod holders leaves a bit to be desired, and I don't like the way the longer models feel. I was actually surprised when the 7.5 passed muster, because I think I've handled the 8 and liked it no better than the 10, which was abominable.
If anyone is familiar with the 7.5 WS, or with the graphite Bass Pro Crappie Max spinning rods (I have some 8s), those are in the neighborhood of the feel I'm looking for (in fiberglass baitcasting, 7-10 ft.). A trigger would help in the rodholder, though, as long as I'm wishin' and hopin'.
Here's the basic rig for those interested in tactics as well as strategery: egg sinker heavy enough to keep the line straight down (especially if slow trolling or drifting) above a barrel swivel, followed by at least a 15-to-18-inch leader, capped off with single or multiple baited circle hooks or jigs, or a combination. Set the rods in the holders and let the fish hook themselves.
When using jigs at anchor, they can be tipped with minnows or supply their own action from boat bobbing. Since they don't use circle hooks, you will gut-hook or deep-hook a significant number of fish, so be aware of that.
If you or someone you fish with has trouble setting the hook when fishing with bait (say for catfish, or flounder) circle hooks and fiberglass rods on a downline is almost like cheating, but in a good way. :wink
Here is an article that looks like it does a pretty good job covering several crappie techniques that are at least semi-relevant. I skimmed, but didn’t read.
I’d love to hear from others about all this, and if anyone is ever in Central NC or Eastern SC and wants to try it or wants to swap ideas, especially for kayak fishing, give me a shout.